Cameron could face inquiry grilling over ‘cronies’ honors list
Bernard Jenkin, chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, told the Telegraph he will invite MPs to discuss the nomination of 13 new peers as soon as Parliament returns at the end of September.
Cameron has come under fire from senior Tory MPs for “devaluing the honors system.” A leaked list shows he nominated members of his own staff and political allies, aides, EU referendum ‘Remain’ campaigners and donors.
Jenkin said MPs should examine Cameron’s choice of new peers. He said reform of the House of Lords is “by far the most important issue” arising from the controversy surrounding Cameron’s honors list.
MPs may call Cameron as a witness and question him as part of an inquiry.
In 2012, the Committee’s predecessor strongly urged a full reform of the honors system, but those recommendations were rejected by the then-Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government.
Jenkin told the Telegraph: “We have already discussed the principle of holding an inquiry into the House of Lords.
“This should include the size and composition of the House of Lords, but also the way in which new peers are appointed.”
“I hope the new government will consider this and our previous report seriously, and I hope the Committee will agree terms of reference and to launch our inquiry as soon as the House returns in September.”
Although prime ministers are entitled to draft an honors list on leaving office, neither Gordon Brown or Tony Blair chose to do so.
As part of his resignation honors, Cameron created 13 Tory life peers, awarded knighthoods to Cabinet ministers Michael Fallon and Patrick McLoughlin, former ministers Oliver Letwin and Hugo Swire, and former Chancellor George Osborne was awarded Companion of Honour.
Others on the list include Cameron’s wife Samantha’s stylist, who received an OBE for political and public service.
The head of Prime Minister’s Appointments, Laura Wyld, whose job at Downing Street involved helping nominate individuals for honors before being vetted by Whitehall committees, also features on the list.